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Author Topic: Color as a multimodal communication device on forums  (Read 490 times)
Memory
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« on: March 06, 2023 @508.97 »

Hey there,

as of late I have been thinking about how I use
color
on this forum as of late and how this is actually quite interesting especially as a linguist who specializes in analyzing communication.

For those who don't know, a multimodal medium is one that uses more than "just" words to communicate information. Like natural speech and a conversation in real life for example, which significantly relies on facial expressions and gestures. You can also convey additional meaning through tone, volume, speed, pauses and much more.

In writing, usually the written word is the only modus that we can use. But on this forum, I have noticed that nearly all of us are using an abundance of stylistic devices bestowed upon us by the forum software: fonts, colors, sizes and visual effects.

Do you think these styles you use convey meaning, meaning that would not be there if it was absent? I think so, and it would be super interesting to analyze that! Like, in this post, I have used color a plethora of times to distinguish strands of thought, or to emphasize certain aspects and phrases. (Of course, I am overdoing it on purpose here.) I also style all of my posts in a global font I set once, one that is supposed to represent my writing style.

Sometimes I style my entire post like a rainbow, beginning at red and ending with purple; just because I feel it makes my argument "softer" in a way.

What do you think? Is visual styling an important aspect of communicating online?
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Necrosia
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2023 @534.98 »

I think visuals are important even if it just to make something pleasing to the eyes, I don't think they convey any meaning tho, at least not for me personally. I don’t read something with a different meaning only because it's written in purple or using comics sans, for example.

On the other hand, unfortunately for me some font styling choices work for the worst, rather than conveying an artistic flair or expression of personal aesthetics they are simply impossible to read on the lighter theme which means I will scroll past it.

I do love emojis though, for me they work as the virtual equivalent of voice intonation and gestures.
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Avatar by Urubu
Memory
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2023 @552.60 »

I think visuals are important even if it just to make something pleasing to the eyes, I don't think they convey any meaning tho, at least not for me personally. I don’t read something with a different meaning only because it's written in purple or using comics sans, for example.

I mean, I think that

I will always follow you

has a different vibe than

I will always follow you

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Necrosia
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2023 @556.10 »

I mean, I think that

I will always follow you

has a different vibe than

I will always follow you



I understand but I personally don't write that way or at least don't intend to, to me italic, bold and underline decorations convey more meaning than actual colors and fonts. Maybe this is just like irl social clues, not everyone will get them?
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Avatar by Urubu
Memory
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2023 @557.07 »

I understand but I personally don't write that way or at least don't intend to, to me italic, bold and underline decorations convey more meaning than actual colors and fonts. Maybe this is just like irl social clues, not everyone will get them?

I mean that's totally fine, not everybody uses colors and fonts and all of these vi
s
ual effects as meaning; but if you use italics, bold and underline, you are already multimodally using style to convey more meaning. That's also what this is about. :3
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2023 @567.07 »

My font and colour is actually very specifically chosen to try and soften the force of what I say ^^ Comic sans is definitely not my favourite font, and orange/brown is far from my favourite colour! However those two together, I think gives off a "sturdy, informal, approachable" vibe - Although that might just be me; my school used to use comic sans in all its media, so I associate it with friendly authority? That its quite important for an admin who makes (vaguely) official posts, I want people to take me seriously, but not too seriously :innocent: Even the exact shade of my posts is slightly different the default in order to make it stand out without standing out.

In the end of the day, the tone of your words will always matter most; but if you can pair your words with an aesthetic style that complements them (or contrasts them?); I think it goes a long way to conveying your message.
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Memory
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2023 @569.59 »

My font and colour is actually very specifically chosen to try and soften the force of what I say ^^ Comic sans is definitely not my favourite font, and orange/brown is far from my favourite colour! However those two together, I think gives off a "sturdy, informal, approachable" vibe - Although that might just be me; my school used to use comic sans in all its media, so I associate it with friendly authority? That its quite important for an admin who makes (vaguely) official posts, I want people to take me seriously, but not too seriously :innocent: Even the exact shade of my posts is slightly different the default in order to make it stand out without standing out.

Actually yeah, it does work for me at least! This is the vibe I have always gotten from your posts, and the font/color combination is definitely a leading cause in that. I also settled for Comic Sans with a default color scheme lately, simply because I feel it takes the edge out of a lot of my posts, it's easily readable and the default color leaves room for using color as emphasis.
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